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175 Posts

Profile of Metius
Looking around I found this book by Jerry Mentzer. It looks very complete for the price, what do you think about it? I couldn't find any previous review of that so I'm asking now...

Thanks in advance.

Eppure una volta avetti sette in latino...(G.Marziano)
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Inner circle
Sweden, Scandinavia, Europe
5133 Posts

Profile of Kjellstrom
I have it and its great. It covers many great card techniques. I taught my self Ascanio Spread from this book 1981 and I still use it Smile
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Inner circle
Portland, OR
3546 Posts

Profile of Turk
This is a GREAT and highly under-rated books. Very easy to read and understand. Has lots of pictures that are conveniently and logically located next to the text describing the particular move.

The book covers many many different basic card sleights and moves.

For what it does, it does well!! Very inexpensive. Get it, you won't be sorry. One of my favorite magic books. 10/10.

Magic is a vanishing Art.

This must not be Kansas anymore, Toto.

Eschew obfuscation.
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Loyal user
245 Posts

Profile of Curmudgeon
Here my review of it from another website. This book let me understand a lot of the sleights better than the dvds I had explaining and showing the sleight. It is very well written and under 10 dollars. A great reference book.

Published by Jerry Mentzer
Price 8.50
73 pages

From the Foreword, “The book is intended to serve as a reference work for the beginner in the field of ‘packet tricks’ as well as for the magician who has some experience”
The material in the book is described in detail and the illustrations are clear .I would like to point out that the illustrations are pictures and not line drawings (to some this point may matter more or less). There are four sections of the book covering 24 sleights. The four sections are broke down into
Undercuts and Reversals
Counts, Moves and Subtlety
Elmsley , Jordan, etc and
The Introduction is written by Larry West and is short and to the point. He praises the author by saying “This is a magic book that is long overdue”.
There are no tricks in this 73 page book but the amount of valuable instruction is more than worth the price of the book. I will describe each of the sleights in order to let you know what is in the book in case you may have heard about or read in another book but did not know how to execute the move you can look in purchasing this book.

Section 1 Undercuts and Reversals
Double undercut- A method to control a specific card or small packet of cards. There are 2 methods explained.
Braue Reversal- An effective method of reversing one or more cards in the deck
Concealed Reversal- The authors solution to a common problem of the Braue Reversal

Section 2 Counts, Moves and Subtlety
Biddle Move- (Elmer Biddle)- A method for removing one or more cards from a group as they are counted.
Hamman Count-(Bro Hamman)-This count is used to switch one packet of cards for another during the action of counting them.
Veeser Count-(Bob Veeser)- This count has the same objective as the Elmsley and maybe a little more natural for some people.
Another Count- This count conceals the bottom card of a packet of 4 cards as they are counted hand to hand.
Flushtration Move-( Bro Hamman)- This is named after a trick marketed by Bro Hamman called Flushtration. The move is to show the backs and faces of several cards while the backs of all but one remain hidden.
Haback Count-(Phil Goldstein)-Also known as “Back Count”. It is a combination of 2 of Bro Hamman’s counts (Hamman Count and Flushtration Move). It is used to show 5 cards on both front and back as 5 cards but in the process some surfaces are concealed.
Olram Subtlety-(Ed Marlo)- Method of displaying several cards. Can be shown while one or more of them is concealed.
Downs Change-(T. Nelson Downs)- A sleight used to change one card for another
True or False-(Jack Chanin)- A method of false counting cards which looks like a fair count
Section 3 Elmsley ,Jordan etc
Elmsley Count-(Alex Elmsley)- Mentzer gives a little history on this count. The count has been known as “Counting Four as Four” , “The Ghost Count” and “Elmsley Count”. The count is used to count the cards showing 4 cards at the same time while hiding one in the process.
Elmsley Count- Added Comment- The author describes a variation of the count
Jordan Count-(Charles Jordan)-The author tells the reader when this count first appeared,which was 1919 in Charles Jordan’s book Thirty Card Mysteries. This is count is counting 4 while hiding one.
Siva Count-Jack Avis)- The count first appeared in number 11 of Karl Fulves’ Epilogue. Is a count used to hide the center card of a 5 card packet.
Open Count-(John Murray)- This count is used to conceal a card in a 4 card packet.
Smile Count-(Larry West)- This count conceals card surfaces as the cards are apparently shown on both sides
Pairs Count-(Larry West)- Is a variation of the Smile Count but using the count with pairs
Spirt Count-(Gene Castillon)- This count was first published in an edition of Kabbala . The count is used with a 4 card packet consisting of 2 and 2
Section 4 Spreads
Simple Spread- This is a method of spreading a packet of cards and keeping a card concealed
Back Spread- This spread of a packet of cards is used to conceal one or more cards
Buckle Count- Another method of showing several cards in a fan and concealing one or more cards
Ascanio Spread-(Arturo de Ascanio)-An utility move to conceal one or more cards while showing several others.

I realize my descriptions may seem vague on some of these but there is a fine line between description and exposure and I didn’t want to cross it. This book has been a great addition to my magic library and the ease of Mentzer’s teaching has made it with in my reach to learn these moves. I do not regret one bit buying this book and will be referring to it for the rest of my magic life. For the material taught in this book I would have paid much more than the actual cost of it.
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Elite user
478 Posts

Profile of Magicusa
Its great. Every one should have a copy of this book.
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New user
82 Posts

Profile of dbiderman
I loved this favorite thing about it is that the pictures are just photographs of actual hands performing the counts and moves; instead of some "joe schmoe" drawing cartoon hands doing different moves
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Inner circle
Orlando, FL
1238 Posts

Profile of Jeff
This should be in every cardmans library.

Jeff Pierce
Available for order now:

See new, used, and collectable magic and books for sale at:
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Inner circle
I think I have about
1513 Posts

Profile of Rennie
This book is a definite "must have" if you are at all into card magic, well written and easy to understand.
Purchased this book when it first came out and refer to it often.
Yes buy the book, hope these reviewers helped you make a wise decision.
The effect is the important thing, how you achieve it is not.......
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76 Posts

Profile of Steinbock
I go along with what everyone else has said. A great little book. A lot of information packed into so few pages.

Caveat: with the Mentzer book you're not going to get a comprehensive over view of all card sleights. Curmudgeon's posting (above) gives the contents of the book. Not much cuts (except the Double Undercut). But for false display counts, it's the first place I turn.
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Regular user
Toronto, Canada
175 Posts

Profile of sugam
I agree about the bang-for-the-buck on this book. Learned counts like the Elmsley Count many years ago, and am going to crack it open to see what it has to say about the Ascanio display. Recommended reference
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New user
Stafford, UK
94 Posts

Profile of tony4938
I purchased this book after having it recommended on the Café, and I was very pleased with it, I learnt loads from it and still refer to it alot, it a great book no matter what level you are at, plus you can pick it up rather cheap nowadays.
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Inner circle
3428 Posts

Profile of rowdymagi5
A great book, and the price makes it affordable for any card enthusiast.
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692 Posts

Profile of Gordon
It's a shame this book doesn't get more attention. I never would have discovered it --it's too easy to overlook--had I not spotted it on the shelves at Hollywood Magic. A quick flip-thru showed that it's packed with good information; probably the best bargain in magic.
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Inner circle
Portland, OR
3546 Posts

Profile of Turk
Don't buy this book!!!! (Unless you want an easy to understand instructional book that teaches some of the most often used card sleights that you need to know and which teaches the moves in an easy to understand format with many photographs that are logically placed next to the particular portion of clearly written text describing a particular move.)

Magic is a vanishing Art.

This must not be Kansas anymore, Toto.

Eschew obfuscation.
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Inner circle
NJ, U.S.
6111 Posts

Profile of Jaz
Funny I found this post because I was just looking at my copy.
This is one of the first booklets I bought.
I learned how to do moves that were referred to elsewhere but never fully explained.

It's available here.
for $8.50
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New user
Stafford, UK
94 Posts

Profile of tony4938
Or if your in the UK you can get it here for £7.99
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Special user
Michigan, U.S.A.
688 Posts

Profile of gerard1973

Jerry Mentzer is one of my favorite magic authors. He is a good writer, his books are inexpensive and very easy to understand. Counts, Cuts, Moves & Subtlety is a very popular Jerry Mentzer book. Two other popular Jerry Mentzer books to check out are Basic Skill With Cards and Simple Yet Effective Tricks With Cards.

Here are some more great Jerry Mentzer books for basic card skills:

Cunning Card Miracles
Packet Tricks
Forcing a Card

After you get a little more experienced, you might want to take a look at two other Jerry Mentzer's Card Books Series: Card File Volumes One and Two and the four Card Cavalcade books. Both series of books are excellent and highly rated.

"Confusion is not magic."
Dai Vernon
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Inner circle
1799 Posts

Profile of ClouDsss
The book is very detailed too
Think outside the box, cos people are all thinking inside now!! - ClouDsss
Bill Palmer
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Eternal Order
Only Jonathan Townsend has more than
24306 Posts

Profile of Bill Palmer
This book is a "must have."
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."
Cameron Francis
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7025 Posts

Profile of Cameron Francis
I picked up this book, not knowing anything about it, at the local magic shop because I wanted to learn the Ascanio Spread. I loved the whole thing. Didn't know others were so enthusiastic about it as I haven't read a review or discussed it with anyone else. Glad to know I'm not the only one!
MOMENT'S NOTICE LIVE 3 - Six impromptu card tricks! Out now!
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